The Easter Bunny is on his way to town. Which means public holidays, mass chocolate consumption and an inevitable vehicular exodus. Like a mini Christmas, people will be traversing our highways and byways to reach loved ones and/or exotic destinations. There will be traffic and rushing and chaos – things that send the average South African motorist into a whacked-out funk of irrational behavior. So to help you cope with it all we’ve cooked up this handy 10-point survival guide. You’re welcome.
1: Always buckle up
Duh. Yeah we know this sounds silly but you’d be surprised at how many ‘adults’ bypass the most basic – yet most important – safety feature native to all cars built after the Stone Age. Buckle up. Always. And make sure your passengers do the same.
2: Take timeout to rest
Rest every two hours or 200km. Do not drive tired. Do not drive if you find yourself cross-eyed and dozing off behind the wheel. Stretch. Stretching improves blood and oxygen flow through your body. Blood and oxygen flow is good. And remember that in 2016 the American Automobile Association (AAA) equated driving tired to driving drunk.
3: Drive to the conditions of the road
You are not Max Verstappen. As such you do not have the skills to Verstappen your way out of trouble in a torrential Free State thunderstorm at 140km/h. If it’s raining be extra cautious: reduce your speed, increase your following distance and up your vigil. The same goes for any other form of extreme weather phenomenon.
4: Check your rubber
Ensure that all your tyres, including the spare, are in good condition and inflated to the correct pressure (check your car’s manual if you’re unsure). If you have a bubbled sidewall (from mounting a curb or banging through yet another pothole) replace the affected tyre immediately.
5: Focus all your energy on the road
Do not update your Facebook status. Do not look at photographs of Kim Kardashian. Do not tweet sweet nothings to your Bae (Wtf is a Bad anyway?). Driving is a serious business, dammit, so concentrate all your efforts on what’s happening ahead of you.
6: Do not overtake on a solid white line
Or on a blind rise. Or around a corner. Or in thick fog or driving rain. Pretty obvious stuff, really. If you don’t understand why not then you obviously bought your license and should be traveling in a bus.
7: Drive sober
Hunter S. Thompson made drunk driving look cool but we can assure you that it isn’t. Especially when you wrap your shiny new Golf GTI around a lamppost and the ensuing wreckage ends up on Twitter. Don’t be a douchebag – stay sober and stay alive.
8: Be courteous
Like drunk driving, road rage isn’t cool. Particularly when your foul-mouthed, cricket bat-wielding antics end up on social media. Stay calm and be courteous. For at the end of the day does it all really matter? Does it really?
9: Give extra space to cyclists and other road users
Just because they’re wearing ridiculous skin-tight Lycra doesn’t mean you have the right to knock them down. Just laugh at them instead.
10: Watch out for children
Especially in suburban areas – they may be playing outside because of the school holidays. Or looking for Easter eggs. Or both. You have been warned. – Thomas Falkiner